The Austin Chronicle

Red Alert

The late train on

By Marc Savlov, December 17, 2004, Screens

If any further proof were needed that some Americans are sorely lacking a sense of humor these days – and we're not talking about Ralph Nader's people here, either – local short-film mavens and multimedia content providers the Late Train ( have got it in spades. The company's broadly humorous microfilm "What's the Story?," which parodies gut-level red-state reactionism in the form of a bogus television news story, has got conservative Web surfers in a downright tizzy. The film's recent posting at popular AtomFilms ( netted the Late Trainers a deluge of shrill e-mail protestations suggesting they haul their unpatriotic nonconformist butts off to Afghanistan if they dislike the Red, White, and Blue so much. But that's just not the case, says co-founder Jeff Rose. "We're not normally political by nature, and so we didn't feel we were making much of a political statement, but it did get a lot of people upset obviously." No fooling: One agitated surfer wrote "Apparently elitist, narcissistic, whining lemmings got a hold of a camera," while others offered thinly veiled death threats and various unique suggestions on exactly where the Late Train might better insert their cameras. "It's been hard for me to really determine if people are joking or not," adds Rose, "but when someone says that the nice thing about intellectuals is they make such good targets, then clearly we've touched a nerve." Which, of course, only serves to bolster the concluding statement of the film's faux-announcer: "Apparently, ignorant, gun-toting, god-fearing trolls make up 51% of this nation's voting populace."

Copyright © 2021 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.